Inheritance

I went to the house of the late Haji. We called in appraisers and they collected all the jewels in an upper apartment; the ledgers and account books having to do with the properties were placed in a second room; the costly furnishings and art objects of the house in a third. A number of jewelers then went to work and set a value on the gems. Other experts appraised the house, the shops, the gardens, the baths. As soon as they began their work I came out and posted someone in each room so that the appraisers could duly complete their tasks. By this time it was nearly noon. We then had luncheon, after which the appraisers were directed to divide everything into two equal parts, so that lots could be cast; one part would be that of the daughters, and one that of the son, Mirza Musa. [This was in accord with the law of Islám]. I then went to bed, for I was ill. In the afternoon I rose, had tea, and repaired to the family apartments of the mansion. Here I observed that the goods had been divided into three parts. I said to them: “My instructions were that everything should be divided into two parts. How is it that there are three?” The heirs and other relatives answered as one: “A third must certainly be set aside. That is why we have divided everything into three. One share is for Mirza Musa, one for the two daughters, and the third we place at Your disposal; this third is the portion of the deceased and You are to expend it in any way You see fit."
Greatly disturbed, we told them, “Such a thing is out of the question. This you must not require, for it cannot be complied with. We gave our word to Bahá’u’lláh that not so much as a copper coin would be accepted.” But they, too, swore upon oath that it must be as they wished, that they would agree to nothing else. This servant answered: “Let us leave this matter for the present. Is there any further disagreement among you?” “Yes,” said Mirza Musa, “what has become of the money that was left?” Asked the amount, he answered: “Three hundred thousand tumans.” The daughters said: “There are two possibilities: either this money is here in the house, in some coffer, or buried hereabouts—or else it is in other hands. We will give over the house and all its contents to Mirza Musa. We two will leave the house, with nothing but our veils. If anything turns up we, as of now, freely accord it to him. If the money is elsewhere, it has no doubt been deposited in someone’s care; and that person, well aware of the breach of trust, will hardly come forward, deal honorably by us, and return it—rather, he will make off with it all. Mirza Musa must establish a satisfactory proof of what he says; his claim alone is not evidence.” Mirza Musa replied: “All the property was in their hands; I knew nothing of what was going on—I had no hint of it. They did whatever they pleased."
In short, Mirza Musa had no clear proof of his claim. He could only ask, “Is such a thing possible, that the late Haji had no ready funds?” Since the claim was unsupported, I felt that pursuing it further would lead to a scandal and produce nothing of value. Accordingly I bade them: “Cast the lots.” As for the third share, I had them put it in a separate apartment, close it off, and affix a seal to the door. The key I brought to Bahá’u’lláh. “The task is done,” I said. “It was accomplished only through Your confirmations. Otherwise it could not have been completed in a year. However, a difficulty has arisen.” I described in detail the claim of Mirza Musa and the absence of any proof. Then I said, “Mirza Musa is heavily in debt. Even should he expend all he has, still he could not pay off his creditors. It is best, therefore, if You Yourself will accept the heirs’ request, since they persist in their offer, and bestow that share on Mirza Musa. Then he could at least free himself from his debts and still have something left over."
On the following day the heirs appeared and implored the Blessed Beauty to have me accept the third share. “This is out of the question,” He told them. Then they begged and entreated Him to accept that share Himself and expend it for charitable purposes of His own choice. He answered: “There is only one purpose for which I might expend that sum.” They said, “That is no concern of ours, even if You have it thrown into the sea. We will not loose our hold from the hem of Your garment and we will not cease our importunities until You accede to our request.” Then He told them, “I have now accepted this third share; and I have given it to Mirza Musa, your brother, but on the condition that, from this day forward, he will speak no more of any claim against yourselves.” The heirs were profuse in their thanks. And so this weighty and difficult case was settled in a single day. It left no residue of complaints, no uproar, no further quarrels.
Mirza Musa did his best to urge some of the jewels on me, but I refused. Finally he requested that I accept a single ring. It was a precious ring, set with a costly pomegranate ruby, a flawless sphere, and unique. All around the central stone, it was gemmed with diamonds. This too I refused, although I had no aba to my back and nothing to wear but a cotton tunic that bespoke the antiquity of the world, nor did I own a copper coin. As Hafiz would say: “An empty purse, but in our sleeve a hoard."
Grateful for the bounty he had received, Mirza Musa offered Bahá’u’lláh everything he possessed: orchards, lands, estates—but it was refused. Then he appointed the ulamas of Iraq to intercede for him. They hastened to Bahá’u’lláh in a body and begged Him to accept the proffered gifts. He categorically refused. They respectfully told Him: “Unless You accept, in a very short time Mirza Musa will scatter it all to the winds. For his own good, he should not have access to this wealth.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 112-116)